Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to Dumas, 9 October 1780

To Dumas

Copy: Library of Congress; transcript:9 National Archives

Passy Oct. 9. 1780.

Dear Sir,

I received yours of 29th. Sept. & 3d. Oct. It is a very good Addition you made to your Memoire for the Ministers of Russia & Sweden. I am glad to find you are again on such good Terms with the Ambassador, as to be invited to his Comedy. I doubt not of your continuing to cultivate that good understanding. I like much your Insertions in the Gazettes. Such Things have good effect.

Your Informations relative to the Transactions at Petersbourg, & in Denmark are very interesting, & afford me a good deal of Satisfaction; particularly the former.

Mr. Searle will have the Pleasure of seeing you. I recommend him warmly to your Civilities. He is much your Friend, and will advise M. Laurens to make you his Secretary, which I hope you will accept. I have given it as my Opinion, that Mr. L. can no where find one better qualified, or more deserving. The Choice is left to that Minister, and he is impowered to give a salary of 500£ Sterling a year.1 I am in pain on Account of his not being yet arrived; but hope you will see him soon. I request you would find means to introduce M. Searle to the Portuguese Ambassador.

Pray consider the enclos’d Papers, and after advising with Your friend, give me your Opinion as to the manner of the Application to the States general, whether I should make it, thro’ their Ambassador, or directly with a Letter to the G. P. or in what other manner. You know we wrote to him formerly and receiv’d no answer.2

With great Esteem, I am, your faithful Friend.

M. Dumas.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

9The transcript contains a postscript (to which Dumas responded on Oct. 20, below): “You say nothing of Mr. adams. How do you stand with him? What is he doing?”

1Laurens was authorized to employ “a proper secretary upon the most reasonable terms,” but was not authorized to pay him more than £300 per year: JCC, XV, 1235.

2American Commissioners to Grand Pensionary van Bleiswijk, April 10, 1778, XXVI, 267–8. The intended application to the States General must have been by Searle; see Dumas to BF, Oct. 20. The Portuguese minister at The Hague was Envoy Extraordinary Agosto Antonio de Souza Holstein (for whom see Repertorium der diplomatischen Vertreter, III, 318).

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